Mitigating Risk with Cattle Buildings: 4 Key Considerations for Success

Mitigating Risk with Cattle Buildings: 4 Key Considerations for Success

Article provided by Accu-Steel, Inc.

With input and acreage costs at an all-time high, beef production comes with tighter margins and more business risk than ever. This has prompted many producers to add cattle buildings for a more controlled environment — but not all cattle buildings are created equal. Here are four key considerations.

1. Consider the seasonal benefits
From breeding to pre-calving to calving and weaning — a cattle building brings unique benefits all year round. Heat checking is easier, making insemination more effective. Pre-calving and calving can happen in a controlled environment that makes human intervention easier, and weaning can be done in the shade.

2. Compare fabric to metal
There are some key benefits to choosing a fabric-covered building versus a traditional metal monoslope building, according to Kelly Daniels, owner of Hedgewood Equipment – an Accu-Steel certified dealer specializing in cattle.
“First, you’ll have better ventilation with a fabric-covered building, which is critical to not only the health of the herd, but also to the longevity of the building,” says Daniels. “You may notice in older metal cattle buildings that moisture caused by poor airflow has led to rust and corrosion in key structural points.”
Daniels also says you should consider the natural light, higher clear-span space for equipment entry, lower cost and much shorter lead times of fabric-covered buildings.

3. Evaluate the manufacturer’s product
There can be significant differences in the quality and longevity of one fabric-covered steel building to another. According to Daniels, here are some of the key things to consider:
● Galvanization: Ensure the steel structure is hot dip galvanized for the best corrosion resistance. While many manufacturers hot dip galvanize, some do it pre-fabrication, meaning their critical weld points are left unprotected. Make sure to choose a manufacturer that does post-fabrication hot dip galvanization.
● Airflow: Next, choose a manufacturer with dual eaves and ridge ventilation that not only improve airflow, but keep your cattle comfortable, clean and dry year-round.
● Fabric: While many manufacturers use one or two continuous sheets of fabric to cover the entire structure, Accu-Steel uses 16-foot sections of EnduroLocTM fabric on Keder tracks, making it easier and more cost-effective to repair or replace in the future.

4. Look for turn-key consultation
While many fabric-covered building manufacturers simply ask, ”what size do you need?” and then give you a price, others offer a more consultative approach. Here are a few questions to consider when selecting a dealer.
● Are they asking the right questions? A good dealer will have a demonstrated knowledge of cow/calf operations, asking the right questions and showing you drawings of potential configurations to meet your unique needs.
● Can they handle more than the building? A good dealer will not just sell you a building, but can help manage the entire project — from hiring the earthmoving, cement and foundation work, to selling the cattle gating and all the equipment within the building.
● Do they understand EQIP NRCS funding? The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) can often help fund up to half the cost of a fabric-covered building project, so long as the design meets NRCS requirements. Choose a dealer and manufacturer who are familiar with those requirements and can help guide you through the NRCS funding process.

Ready for a fabric-covered building?
Accu-Steel offers post-fabrication hot dip galvanized steel, three-way airflow, an innovative Keder cover system with EnduroLocTM fabric and a certified dealer network of experts in the cattle industry. Visit for more information.

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